East West Acupuncture

East West Acupuncture

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Respiratory and Immune System



The ancient Chinese believed that acupuncture can improve health by correcting “imbalances of Yin and Yang.” This overlaps with the modern concept of homeostasis. Indeed, research suggests that acupuncture activates the homeostatic mechanism, modulating various physiological functions in either direction as necessary to achieve balance. With regards to the immune system, it has been observed that acupuncture can both stimulate the immune mechanism (e.g. to treat AIDS) (Chen et al 1992) and suppress the immune system (e.g. in the management of rhinitis, asthma or eczema) (see sections on EAR NOSE AND THROAT and DERMATOLOGY conditions above).

Acupuncture appears to have the potential to modulate the immune system: it releases ß-endorphin from the pituitary in association with ACTH, and has been shown to modulate the sympathetic nervous system via the hypothalamus and at various other levels. Acupuncture influences specific and nonspecific cellular and humoral immunities. It activates cell proliferation, including blood, reticuloendothelial, and traumatized cells and activates leucocytosis, microbicidal activity, antibodies, globulin, complement, and interferon.

The onset of a response to acupuncture is often delayed by 12 to 24 hours and lasts for 7 days or longer. This time scale appears to be more like that of an immune response than that of a neurotransmitter release. (Bossy 1994).